About me

A determined, resourceful and motivational team-oriented leader and facilitator, focussed on the provision of service excellence for customers and clients, colleagues and organisations. Above all, a professional instructor and coach with masses of enthusiasm helping individuals acquire new skills and develop existing ones.

RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and Shorebased Instructor, commercially endorsed delivery skipper and RYA Yachtmaster Offshore with Safety Boat and Powerboat Level 2 certificates. Over 15,000 logged nautical miles to November 2016 (including a UK circumnavigation and 1100 nm on yacht delivery) plus extensive yacht charter experience in Greece, Croatia, Turkey and the Caribbean.

Ex-teacher of economics, senior IT project manager and healthcare IT service manager.

Along with a keen and infectious sense of humour, a passion for many watersports, skiing and DIY.

RYA Yachtmaster™

"A RYA Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence is often the ultimate aim of aspiring skippers. It is a well known, highly respected qualification worldwide, proving your experience and competence as a skipper."

A Yachtmaster Offshore will be, "A yachtsman or woman competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage that can be completed without the use of astro- navigation." He or she should be able to enter any well-charted harbour for the first time, with sufficient depth, by day or night.

RYA Cruising Instructor

"Participants in the RYA's cruising programmes come from many different backgrounds and have diverse aspirations. Instructors therefore need a multitude of skills which they can adapt to the type of boat and the capabilities of their students. Essentially this means being able to generate interest, communicate clearly on deck and around the chart. The best instructors are first class skippers who can run cheerful, well organised and instructional courses."

"Many of the problems and complaints the RYA receives from students on courses arise from inconsiderate and unsympathetic behaviour by the instructor. Living with different groups of candidates in close quarters calls for considerable reserves of fortitude and sociability. Instructor candidates who are unable to exhibit appropriate interpersonal skills are unlikely to have a successful outcome."

Distance logged in G15 logbook (since 2011):

(with approximately 1500 miles sailed prior to 2011)

RYA Day Skipper

During this practical course the Day Skipper student will, under instruction, take charge on short passages. By the end of the course, the student should be able to skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day.

RYA Competent Crew

The Competent Crew practical course is for beginners and those wanting to become active crew members rather than just passengers. By the end of the course, the student should be able to steer, handle sails, keep an effective lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines on board a cruising yacht.

RYA Start Yachting

This practical course is an introduction to sail cruising for complete beginners during which the student will have experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, ropework and be aware of safety on board. By the end of the course, the student should have a basic knowledge of yachting and be able to complete the Competent Crew course over 3 rather than 5 days (or 2 rather than 3 weekends).

Elite Sailing, the RYA Training Centre based at MDL's Chatham Maritime Marina on the River Medway in Kent, provided me with the RYA Yachtmaster training leading to the award of an Offshore Certificate of Competence at the end of October 2013. The Centre has, as its HQ and classroom, an historic Dutch Sailing Klipper, Maaike Maria, which is moored in the marina.

Elite Sailing, an RYA Training Centre

51° 24.24' N
000° 31.95' E

Prior to or after a passage via the Thames Estuary, Elite yachts will often anchor in Stangate Creek (or perhaps Sharfleet Creek or even off Slaughterhouse Point) in the River Medway or pick up (and possibly share) a visitor mooring buoy at Queenborough Harbour on the Isle of Sheppey.

Queenborough Harbour    Stangate Creek leading to Sharfleet Creek

Learn2Sail is owned and run by husband and wife Mark and Jane Sanders. This RYA Training Centre is based in Albufeira Marina on the Portuguese Algarve. Their principle yacht is Osprey, a Beneteau 411 Oceanis.

Learn2Sail, an RYA Training Centre

37° 05' N
008° 15.2' W

Premier Sailing is run by Colin and Jan Stracey and is based on the River Crouch at Fambridge Yacht Haven. The school's yacht is Kingfisher, a Beneteau 351.

Premier Sailing, an RYA Training Centre

51° 38.55' N
000° 39.9' E

Heave 2, at which I booked my Cruising Instructor course, is a small family run RYA sail training centre based at the Royal Clarence Marina in Gosport. The Centre specialises in taking smaller groups of students with a typical student to instructor ratio of 3:1. Peter Wells is the Centre's Principal and Chief Instructor and the yacht on which the practical instruction is provided is a Bavaria 37, Darwin Star

Heave 2, an RYA Training Centre

50° 48.08' N
001° 7.28' W

The Webapp from Navionics

Dates (2015) School Content
Various Elite Sailing, Chatham RYA courses, yacht maintenance, milebuilders, own boat tuition
Various Learn2Sail, Portugal RYA courses
Various First Class Sailing East Coast, North Fambridge RYA courses
5th and 6th March, 25th May RYA Shorebased Instructor course Elite Sailing, Chatham & RYA, Southampton
5th, 6th and 7th February RTC skipper induction days and Solent familiarisation Medway and Gosport/Solent

Dates (2014) Activity From...to...
10th to 13th October Instructing for Elite Sailing (2x DS) Chatham, River Medway, Queenborough, Swale, Thames Estuary, Bradwell
27th September to 4th October North Ionian charter Gouvia Marina, Corfu to Levkas Marina & return (via Plataria, Sivota/Mourtos, Gaios, Levkas, Vonitsa, Ligia, Valtos/Parga & Petriti)
12th to 14th September Instructing for Elite Sailing (4x CC) Chatham, River Medway, Queenborough, Thames Estuary
5th to 7th September Instructing for Elite Sailing (1x SY, 2x CC, 1x DS) Chatham, River Medway, Queenborough, Thames Estuary
21st to 25th July RYA Cruising Instructor course and assessment Heave 2, Gosport (Solent)
22nd March to 1st April New Beneteau Oceanis 38 yacht delivery Port Napoleon, France to Gouvia Marina, Corfu
3rd to 5th March RYA Powerboat Level 2 and Safety Boat courses Perfect Day Watersports, Leigh On Sea

Dates (2013) Activity From...to...
4th to 9th August Advanced Skipper Training (RYA Coastal Skipper) Chatham
9th August to 2nd October Extended cruise round the UK on Tonic, Elite's Bavaria 46
week 1 Chatham - Boulogne - Dieppe - Honfleur - St Vaast - Southampton
week 2 Southampton - Studland Bay, Poole (overnight shelter prior to crossing Channel) - St Peter Port, Guernsey - St Helier, Jersey - St Malo - Sark - Cowes - Southampton
week 3 Southampton - Weymouth - Dartmouth - Salcombe - Fowey - Porthleven (briefly anchored off) - Penzance
week 4 Penzance - Isles of Scilly (St Agnes, Tresco and St Mary's) - Arklow - Dublin (Howth)
week 5 Dublin (Howth) - Isle of Man - Bangor (N Ireland) - Islay (Port Ellen) - Jura (Loch Tarbert) - Dunstaffnage - Oban
week 6 Oban - Tobermory - Plockton - Loch Ewe - Stromness, Orkney Mainland - St Margaret's Hope, South Ronaldsay, Orkney Islands - Rousay, Orkney Islands - Wick - Lossiemouth
week 7 Lossiemouth - Peterhead - Eyemouth - Holy Island - Whitby - Lowestoft - Chatham
6th to 11th October Additional Sailing Skills Chatham
12th to 15th October Advanced Boat Handling and Sailing Skills Chatham
15th to 18th October Independent Sailing Chatham
19th to 20th October Advanced Skills Training Chatham
20th to 25th October Yachtmaster Exam Final Preparation Chatham
28th and 29th October Yachtmaster Examination Chatham

Google Earth map of the stop-overs on our Round UK routeFor those of you with Google Earth already installed, you might like to open the following updated kmz file:

>> Round the UK with Elite Sailing

Alternatively, for an updated Google Maps version, please click here

Elite's training yachts Spirit and Spitfire

Dates (2012) Activity From...to...
17th to 25th March RYA Day Skipper Combined (Practical and Theory) Anglia Sea Ventures, Ipswich (Suffolk/Essex Coast)

The following important safety video was commissioned by the RNLI

"If you are immersed in cold water your body automatically reacts and you are at severe risk of death."

More safety related videos from the RNLI

Why wear crotchstraps with your lifejacket? [YouTube: 37 seconds]

How to wear your lifejacket correctly [YouTube: 3 minutes, 3 seconds]

The All Tide Landing (ATL) at Queenborough Harbour

Queenborough Harbour website

The Importance of Teamwork - Lessons from Geese